The dawn of a brand new year is not too far away and one of the key projects which we intend to relaunch as we brace ourselves for the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which will surely be preceded by an intriguing season is a set of album reviews as released by artists who have already been to the Eurovision Song Contest and have continuously achieved success on home turf and surrounding countries. For this feature, we have secured the professional writing skills of singer/songwriter Jean Claude Vancell who is quite busy at the moment preparing for a number of events in the industry. Nevertheless, you will be seeing more of these articles as the weeks go by and as a matter of fact, what better way to kick off than with the collection entitled Heal which is of course, the debut album released by Loreen, this years' winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Forget the flashy costumes, the over-the-top hair dos and the army of dancers. Loreen is here. As she has proven during this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the singer does not need anything else but her own voice and a good song to take over Europe. Loreen is a 29-year-old Swedish pop singer and music producer. She started off her musical career by appearing on Swedish Idol in 2004 and placing 4th. She resurfaced in 2011 when she took part in the Swedish selection for Eurovision with My Heart is Refusing Me (a track now part of the album).
She failed to make it through the final, but returned next year with her track Euphoria, with which she won the Melodifestivalen and later the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan. She spoke out against the violation of human rights when in Azerbaijan with local political activists saying "Human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things." Loreen was the winner of the Best Swedish Act at the MTV European Music Awards 2012. She was also nominated for Best European Act which she lost to Dima Bilan (The winner of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest).
Album Title: Heal
Released: 22nd October (Europe)
Heal is published by Warner Music, Sweden, and is Loreen’s debut album. Recorded over two years (between 2010 and 2012), it showcases Loreen as an up and coming artist in the European charts after her victory for Sweden at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. It was released as already mentioned above on the 22 October. The recurring theme throughout the album is breaking-up and finding strength in oneself. The production of the album has a heavy dance feel to it, which is currently very popular in Europe. The tracks have very intricate beats and harsh synths.
The presence of an orchestra in some of the tracks in the album enhances and softens the song production in songs such as Euphoria and Sober. Loreen had a significant role as a songwriter in the album, penning tracks such as In My Head, My Heart is Refusing Me and Sober. The album has performed well in the charts reaching the top twenty in six countries and peaking at number 1 in her home country, Sweden, where it has also been certified platinum. It has been released in Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, France and Japan.
Tracks to look out for:
In my head – An amazing opening to the album. I especially love the piano solo in the track. Loreen shows a subtler vocal dynamic than in the rest of the album. I liked the gentler tone of her voice on this one.
My heart is refusing me – Loreen has participated in Melodifestivalen in 2011 with this track, which has now been reworked for the album. I really like the new remix. I am amazed how this did not do well in the competition. A real bass-thumper with a great melody line.
Euphoria – We've heard it endless times before. On the album the track is introduced with a beautiful arrangement for strings which contrasts well with the strong sounds in the record. Her vocal rendition is impeccable, even though I do have to admit that I enjoy her live interpretation so much more.
Crying out your name – This, in my opinion, is the stronghold of this album. Lyrically it strikes a chord with me. Overall it is a very well written song. The production is nothing short of amazing with a beat reminiscent of dub-step in the beginning.
I never expected myself to enjoy this album so much. I do not usually enjoy listening to Euro-dance but Loreen has found the right balance between pop and dance in her record. This will definitely not be leaving my iTunes playlist for a very long time. If Loreen works hard enough to promote this, we’ll keep hearing of her well into the future, something which can’t be said about all winners of Eurovision.
At one point in time, credibility was somewhat the issue with the Eurovision Song Contest but leading record labels from all over the world have been showing interest in a number of performers who have made it to the continental competition especially those which have succeeded in terms of public opinion. One of the foremost performers is surely the winner of this years' extravaganza, Loreen whose entry Euphoria catapulted her to success in her native Sweden, surrounding countries and even beyond. Warner Music Sweden was the company to literally gobble her up when the opportunity came about and in fact, they have just worked together on producing a fine, modern album which has received rave reviews and positive sales across the board.
Euphoria was a major success all over the continent managing to top the charts is no less than nine countries including Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland whilst also managing top three positions in The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom amongst others. The debut album which bears the name Heal was officially released on the 22nd October but following a bout of promotional performances by the artist herself in a number of nations, it is seeing a surge in sales thus rising to number #1 in Sweden, #6 in Finland, #6 in Norway #7 in Switzerland, #12 in Denmark, #16 in Germany and #16 in The Netherlands. This trend is continuing and is expected to last quite a while longer. Sweden are currently preparing to host the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest but this years' edition will always be known as the birth of a true star. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Source: Warner Music Sweden
Since winning this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Loreen has emerged as a true artist and someone who surely has a long standing career by the looks of it having been jetting all over the continent giving performances of all three major singles, those being of course; Euphoria, My Heart Is Refusing Me and Crying Out Your Name. It has to be noted that the latter two have just been released in two different territories with the artist or rather Warner Music Sweden deciding to promote two tracks at the very same time in different countries. In the past couple of days, she was in Scandinavia performing on a number of talent shows but nevertheless, the biggest performance surely came at the grand opening of the Friends Arena which will be hosting the 2013 edition of the Melodifestivalen and was also considered for the Eurovision Song Contest but then deemed far too big by the European Broadcasting Union and also the Swedish broadcaster; SVT who will be responsible for the overall hosting of the showcase.
It seems that the decision to host in Malmo within a smaller arena was an extremely good one from the acoustics we are gathering from Loreen's performance which as always included plenty of drama. The stage was surrounded by pure emptiness and the people were too far away. The setup of the lighting and the projections was astonishing though and there will be some amendments made to make sure that the final of the 2013 Melodifestivalen will be accommodated better. Still, Loreen's brand new single in Scandinavia being Crying Out Your Name is receiving a lot of promotion with the performer being a guest on the X Factor shown TV4 in recent days and also at the respective opening. Following an opening on the charts at number #42, it has already risen to number #29 and wish such a heavy schedule being put forward, it will surely go even higher. The release of the single of course precedes the album which was also out this week and will thus be receiving a chart placing in just a matter of hours. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about winners of the Eurovision Song Contest whilst we urge you to watch the performance below in the meantime.
Source: Warner Music Sweden
Loreen, the winner of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is preparing the release of two new singles to the music industry, one entitled Crying Out Your Name written in a collaboration between Niklas Jarl, Ana Diaz and Moh Denebi, the first out of which is known for co-writing the Irish entry Waterline at this years' edition of the prestigious music event held in Baku, Azerbaijan; with the second one bearing the title My Heart if Refusing Me which was of course her Melodifestivalen entry in 2011 failing to make it through to the final stages of the Melodifestivalen despite being a huge fan favourite.
SVT, the Swedish broadcaster responsible for hosting the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest are set to be delighted at this prospect and it would not have been possible without Loreen whose iconic Euphoria has become a huge hit all over the continent with clubs, radio and general events playing it round the clock. Nevertheless, the artist herself has become an icon in her native Sweden and is therefore being invited to every show possible in the country noting that her most recent performance came in front of the Swedish Royal Family who are set to be great fans of Loreen.
The Crown Princess along with her husband were present with the senior members of the Royal Family and such a performance opportunity could have definitely not been turned down. Loreen herself was wearing a white dress which was covered by a black leather jacket. She was given the opportunity to perform two (2) songs in total and she decided to do last years' Melodifestivalen entry entitled My Heart Is Refusing Me which did not manage to qualify to the finals of the local competition as well as the winning entry of the Eurovision Song Contest entitled Euphoria. She continues to grow in popularity, prowess and confidence with every performance that she gives and it shows that she will always be remembered as one of the leading artists in Sweden as is the case for Abba, The Herreys, Carola and Charlotte, the four previous winners. The 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the city of Malmo, which also hosted the 1992 edition.